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Hardball Weekend

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

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Washington 7, Olay 3, Sharon Engle 3, Toomey 3, Pat Toomey 2, Joe Biden 2, Gingrich 2, United States 2, Obama 2, Clinton 2, Scott Brown 2, Virginia 2, Us 2, Delaware 2, U.s. 2, Pennsylvania 2, Roberts 1, Harry Reid 1, Thurgood Marshall 1, John Roberts 1,
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  MSNBC    Hardball Weekend    News/Business. The best of  
   'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'  

    September 5, 2010
    7:00 - 7:30am EDT  

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return fire. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, democrats starting to play hardball. to avoid disaster in november, democrats are going to have to get tough. they're going to have to punch back, they're going to have to nail their opponents with the same hard shots the republicans and the tea partiers have been using against them. that means going negative. means brutally pointed, honest, devastating negative ads. as oneistrate jest put it, anyone who spends money on a
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positive ad might as well give money to charity. the democrats are getting tough. that's our top story. plus, what scares you? what's the fear if the republicans grab control of congress? a push to starve the health care bill, another government shutdown to shift spending power to the congress? a relen willing campaign to take down -- relentless campaign to take down president obama? listen to what the republicans are offering up. we got a glimmer of good economic news this morning. the jobless rate ticked up .1% to 9.6%. 9.6, and 54,000 jobs lost overall because of the temporary census bureau jobs coming to an end. but the private sector added 67,000 new jobs. higher than expected. and that offers hope that things are getting better in the real economic world out there. still some democrats are becoming quite worried about ending those bush tax cuts for even the top bracket. we'll look into that. retreat, how it there's some retreat -- not all the democrats certainly but some are starting to get wary of spending time between now and election day bringing back the higher rate for even the richest americans.
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and if there were already enough reasons to be angry with bp, and there are a lot of them, now the oil giant is saying to congress if congress cuts down its ability to drill in deep water, bp may not be able to pay what it's promised to pay in damages to those people who got hurt down there. big surprise, not really. finally, let me finish tonight by telling you the pair of people i think president obama needs to put into his administration at the highest level to turn things around and merely make things work. let's start with the democrats playing hardball. larry sabateau, professor for the center of politics at the fabulous university of virginia. and susan page is the washington bureau chief for "usa today." it's not fabulous just because of you, larry, but it is one hell of a school. here are larry's numbers. they were out the other day. i want to start with your thoughts and your predictions. currently, 47 house seats go republican. a shift enough -- enough of a shift to get power to the republicans. eight our nine pickups of the senate seats they need to win of the ten won't make it yet.
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although i think he's offering up that possibility. a net game of eight governors going to the republican side. so a very, very big win for the republican party. but not a complete shutout yet, apparently. and the new "usa today" gallup poll finds republicans prefer republican candidates across the country by 49% to 43%, should be enough of a percentage, six-point difference, to give them control, as well. let me turn to larry sabato. to encapsulize your current position, what is it? >> it's what you said, chris, republicans taking over the house. not by an enormous margin but a decent margin. having a chance to take over the senate but not yet. it's not there yet and may never be. their biggest advantage i think and probably the greatest breakthrough will be at the state level where they'll not only pick up at least eight governorships out of the 37 on the ballot net, they'll probably
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also pick up 300 to 500 state legislative seats, and that means they will take control of an additional eight to 12 state legislative chambers, all of that critical for the 2011 redistricting process. >> susan, in your reporting, do you find those ricks in line with a -- predictions in line with a lot of others, or in terms of how bad it's going to get? >> he's a little further out front on the house side. but everybody's moving that direction. i think all the highly respected independent prognosticators are saying the house is gone, the senate, not quite yet, but not out of the -- >> okay. excuse me, let's go to the fight now. here are the toughest ads, all over the place, and they're all getting very tough. this is the democrats going after republicans. let's take a look at this. here's robin carnahan in missouri. her ad hitting roy blunt, long-time republican leader in congress. here's a case where a democrat gets to run against a washington insider, big shot. one of those rare moments where the democrat gets to be the outsider in a race. let's listen to what she's saying.
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>> congressman roy blunt. he got caught trying to insert a secret deal for tobacco giant philip morris into a bill just days after company executives gave him over $30,000. he voted to weaken the rules on lobbyist gifts, rode corporate jets provided by a defense contractor convicted of bribery, and he's taken more money from lobbyists than any member of congress. roy blunt. he's the very worst of washington. >> get the picture? let's go to joe cessna. he was on last night. the congressman and former ad role. his vote for conservative in pennsylvania. >> do you think corporation pay their fair share? pat toomey thinks corporations shouldn't pay any taxes. >> let's not tax corporation. i think the solution is to eliminate corporate taxes altogether. >> the middle-class is struggli struggling, but toomey thinks it's the oil companies and
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corporations that should pay zero. >> the solution is to eliminate corporate taxes altogether. >> pat toomey. he's for them, not for us. >> i nthink that's a pretty straight ad. they're using his words, a club for growther, and i think it's fair to say to the pennsylvania voters, do you really want somebody this far over as your senator? larry? >> yeah, look, i have no problem with that. that's factual, chris. i have no problem with any negative ad or contrast ad that is factual, that uses the words not taken out of context of the opponent. look, chris, here is what democrats have to do. they're faced with a situation where they can't go to the voter and say, hey, everything's hunky dori. isn't it terrific? happy days are here again, re-elect me. instead they have to go to the voters and say, i know you're unhappy, i know you're frustrated. i know you want change. but look at this other candidate. you don't want that kind of change. you dirty up your opponent.
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that's what these candidates are doing, that's what they have to do. >> if you do this, is there a risk? i'm worrying for the democrats here, worrying for them. i've seen this happen before. if you say to somebody who's unhappy with the way things are, yeah, but this guy, this person's even worse, you're basically saying that you don't have a choice. >> and the problem -- >> they might get ticked at you. >> the problem in doing negative ads like this if you're a democrat is not that voter are so in love with the republican party. our polling shows more so than in previous big change elections like 1994 and 2006, people are against the party in power. they're not enamored with the other side. that means you're not telling them something they don't know. >> i'm looking at the numbers like -- i don't see a lot of movement, larry. when i see him tacking sharon engle as a whack job again and again, and she may well be a whack job, but i wonder how voter get -- i remember when they voted for that guy in california to knock out tunney, remember? they knew the guy was a little off. i saw the 19% of this country that voted for ross perot after
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he was certified ads nuts, the 19%. they wanted to stick it to -- right? sometimes people vote irrationally out of action. thedent's got to be careful -- the democrats got to be careful of the crazy voter. >> the long distance prediction is this is another class of 80 in the u.s. senate. in other words, a lot of one termers. so enjoy the six years. they get some pension out of it. they're going to say a lot of very interesting things on the floor of the senate. and if they're friends of mcconnell, get him a christmas gift early, a case of extra strength excedrin. that's what he needs. >> they're going to -- when they pick up that rock, they're going to see a lot of bug life under there, the american voter. thank you, susan. you got a good heart. everybody, have a nice labor day weekend. i hope that doesn't sound partisan. the republicans celebrate labor day -- what will happen if they win control of congress in
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two months? could it lead to a government shutdown? by the way, think through if the democrats lose the congress the house really becomes republican. and the governor of the united states, the taxing authority, the regulatory authority, the trade authority, the subpoena power, everything is in the hands of the republican government. so, get this -- kraft mac & cheese... but it's in a bag. and you bake it... in the oven. whatever happened to cheesasaurus rex? i love that guy. well, kraft corporation, i'm on to you -- going after the grown-ups and trying to muscle me out. but i'm not going anywhere. [ male announcer ] new kraft homestyle macaroni & cheese. cheesy noodles topped with golden brown breadumbs. you know you love it.
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welcome back to "hardball." what can we expect if the republicans do as many expect take over the house of representatives? they're promising to defund the health care bill the president got passed this year. some republicans are even talking about using a government shutdown to get their control of spending. will these actions put them on the winning side political? news editor for "salon" and sam stine, senior political writer for "the huffington post." sam, this issue has got to be clarified to the public.
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i think when people vote, the first instinct will be i'm mad, but no. voting again the democrat, voting for incumbents. i think we have to elevate that a little, vote the way they want. your thoughts -- if the republicans get control of the house of representatives, the way i explained it last night is they get control of spending, they get control of taxation policy, trade policy. they get the subpoena. they get awesome power, oversight over the regulatory bodies. they can loosen up oil, loosen up on wall street. a few other things. what do you think is the most important thing they'll do that the voters should know about if they're going to vote republican or democrat? >> two things. one is subpoena power, i think you'll see a slew of investigates launched. i think the congressman who's not the oversight committee -- >> why should the average person care about investigations? >> because it will essentially slow down the pace of government. you'll go through where they are defining -- dragging mud on politicians, opening up investigates into the sestak matter. a lot of drama. maybe they want drama, but who knows. the second thing is the power of the purse. one thing that we see now as being pledged by the gop is the
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way to define health care is not to repeal the law but to stop the money going to it. so what you might expect is that next year they don't pass money to pay for the health care legislation, in which case you have a real game of chicken between the president and the republican congress. >> let's look at our candidates. smart guy, could be -- here's a slip. he could be majority whip soon. he's from virginia, a smart guy. here he is talking about health care and what they'll do to it if the party wins, their party wins control of congress. let's listen. >> well, will you pledge, congressman, if you're house majority leader to to it that a bill is brought to the floor of the house of representatives to immediate repeal boom carobama ? will you do that? >> without mentioning what position i will be or won't be, if i'm in a position to make that difference, absolutely i will pledge to do that. are you kidding? of course. >> if you're house majority leader, you will push forward the bill immediately to repeal this? >> yes. yes, yes, yes! i don't see how you ever thought i wouldn't be for doing that.
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now, come on. >> like an east german interrogation. let me go to steve -- watching the lives of others there for a minute. as she drills these people. she's toughening up. my friend laura ingram. tough talk there. he ended up saying what she wanted him to say -- we will stop the spending, we will shut down the government if we have to, i believe, for health care. what are your thoughts on that, steve? >> yeah. i think you're seeing what fundamentally could be the difference between 1995, the last time you had republicans running the house and the -- coming in after the '94 election, running the house and senate against a democratic white house. they played the game of chicken, newt gingrich vs. blil, they shut down the government over the republican demand of medicare cuts -- >> they shut down the smithsonian for a few days, turned the lights out in the capitol. the average person watching, we can save a few bucks. so what? a lot of independent voters say so what. >> what happened in '95 and will
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happen again they don't say so what. people are unnerved by what they perceive as radical. newt gingrich sold the conservative revolutionaries out, cut a deal with bill clinton, brought the conservatives along and reopened the government. they lost. i think what you're seeing in the interview is how different the climate is for republicans now. they -- the tea party movement to me is the conservative republican base calling the bluff of the republicans in washington who for years have talked about lowering the size of government, tax cut cutting taxes but haven't delivered. they cut the deal that gingrich cut in the end. they've concern that for the last 30 years. the fox news crowd, tea party crowd, want to see to it that the deal doesn't get cut next year. it's a dangerous position for republicans. >> they're going to turn them into murkowskys and bob bennetts and through them out. if you don't do what the tea partiers want, bring bloody hell to the government of the united states, you're out. they want it shut down. >> and jim dement was
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interviewed and said we basically expect people elected to vote on the principles they were elected there. >> he's the raw seat of the hurricane. and joe murrow, this guy is a real tea partier, smart guy apparently. let's take a look. he talks about supporting -- he's saying it up front. i'm going to support a government shutdown, i believe. let's listen to him. >> but out of the gate, joe, what do you start with, health care? >> oh, absolutely. you fund it. i mean, a repeal would be perfect but obviously that would get vetoed. defund everything. get rid of the oeshlist aspects of government, not just in health care but in the areas driving us into insolvency. >> of course you're going to have a president who's going to veto anything if the -- that the republican congress tries to enact. >> you've got to fund it and the congress has to have an affirmative vote to do it. >> starve them of the fund. starve the bee so to speak. >> absolutely, have the courage to shut down the government if we have to.
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>> that's not an unsophisticated voice. that person sound like one of the old writers for the national review. a smart conservative, knows what he wants. he's out to stop the way things are going. >> this is what i think. say the republicans have the senate next year, say mitch mcconnell's the majority leader of the senate and the joe millers and the republican side are pushing for this. what's going to lap? you're going to have the joe miller half of -- part of the caucus, the tea party crowd that want the shutdown, wants no compromise, no surrender ever. you're also going to have scott brown from massachusetts, mark kirk maybe from illinois. you know, from delaware -- these guys are going to get pretty nervous president clinton fast when the public starts turn -- nervous pretty fast when the public start turning on them. >> there's a change from 20 or 30 years ago when goldwater or reagan would say something. a manager would say, cool it, talk about bread andburg. talk about the bases -- get off the ideology. these tea partiers aren't doing that. toomey's saying what he's saying in flat-out terms, you know. he's a real club for growther.
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no government, no subsidies, no taxes. i mean, stay out of the way. >> this is why i don't think it's wrong to talk about or project about a shutdown is that all of these people live in the belief that they lost power because they abandoned their principles during the bush years. so the only way to hold power once you regain it is to stick with the principles. one other thing. gingrich didn't cut a deal necessarily because he thought it was the right thing to do. he lost an important p.r. battle when he complained about getting a seat at the back of the plane with clinton. >> looked like a washington ego maniac. >> you look at piece was tom delay and him, they think that was a massive turning point. than it was a tactical point but the image of him as a whiner screwed him over. i think they can win, and they want to stick to principle. >> the other thing is possibly that the right wingers when they come to washington, sharon engle, they're not dwog make friends across the aisle. they're not going to come and say, oh, i'm joining the team. we all have to work together. i have a hunch people like toomey and the rest will stay very much pure by their standards. in other words, fanatical.
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>> that's the big problem february the republicans if they have the majority. if they have the majority and it's on them to set the agenda coming out of the house and the senate. when you're in opposition, when you're in the minority party as they are now, it's pretty easy to keep sort of the moderate faction in -- in the republican party like a scott brown, potentially a mark kirk. it's pretty easy to keep them on the same page as sharon engle. you can always find a reason to say no. when it's up to you to come up with something everybody's got to say yes in your party, that's when the absolutism is a program. it's a need they've got to thread. i don't see how they do it. >> the differences in this campaign are become crackling. well before election nights. if we do our job here by any time in october, people out to know what the stakes are with clarity. thank you, guys. thank to you guys for coming here. steve and sam. coming up, a dentist from chicago is trying to convince -- in his way hillary clinton to undercut president obama and run for president this time. really? watch the side show.
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time for the side show. could delaware be the new alaska? tea partier christine o'donnell is hoping to pull off an upset against popular u.s. congressman mike cassle in that state's republican senate primary. o'donnell of the senate nominee in 2008, but lost the race to long-time senator joe biden. didn't she? well, yesterday conservative radio host dan gaffney who backed o'donnell in '08 called her out on her claim that she had won two of the state's three counties. i love it when they get caught. let's listen. >> when you were speaking at an out-of-state group recently and
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you told them that you won two out of three counties in delaware, what did you mean? >> i don't think i ever said i won two out of three counties. but i -- >> let's listen to the audio. hold on one second. cause i have the audio right here. >> i was 2008 endorsed candidate in 2008 against joe biden and won in two counties. i didn't have the support of our liberal republicans then -- >> you said that you won in two counties. >> you know what you are, on the campaign trail i meant tied. >> you didn't tie. >> didn't tie either. they said world war ii loose lips sank ships. this candidate's loosy goosy claim of having one two of delaware's three counties isn't true. voters, take note. also, mr. dan gaffney is not to be trifled with. next, say it ain't so. hillary clinton has said repeatedly that she's not going to run for president again. william dejean is hoping to convince her otherwise. he spent $5,000 of his own money
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to put an ad down in new orleans. let's watch. >> certainly magestic. one thing that won't happen the next two years is that. parties that divide, divide. half a party can't win. now for tonight's big number. a pugh survey asked americans to name the chief justice of the supreme court. to make things easy people were given four names to choose from. thurgood marshall, harry reid, john paul stevens, and john roberts. how many correctly picked roberts? just 28%. the thing about that number, 28% -- if people simply made a
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random guess among the four possibilities, the odds say that 25% would have got ten right if they didn't know anything. that's how many americans can tell you who heads the supreme court. that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. [ female announcer ] stay once... stay twice... earn a free night! two separate stays at comfort inn or any of these choice hotels can earn you a free night -- only when you book at choicehotels.com.
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